## Reforming Democracy

For discussions of culture, politics, economics, sociology, law, business and any other topic that falls under the social science remit.

### Re: Reforming Democracy

gib wrote:

I tried to arbiter above, but I think that was a mistake, so I won't do it again; but I want to ask a question. I'm not as informed as I could be about the specific issues you guys are arguing over, so I can't really take sides, but am I interpreting this properly? Ucci, are you arguing that one, in these kinds of discussions, ought to recognize that both sides of the debate are equally biased and, in a relativistic manner of speaking, both are right in their own way? Because even though it's true that both sides of the debate will usually speak from deep seeded biases and will typically only see their side of the argument and ignore the other side's, it is not true that this means neither side is right nor wrong. It's still possible, even if the psychology of both sides is more or less the same, that one side is right and the other wrong. And one can recognize the equality in being biased and in one-sided listening between the factions while at the same time recognize that one side is actually right and the other side actually wrong. <-- I think this is Liz's position (though I could be very wrong).

First, I sincerely apologize to you and to everyone else who's managed to read this far. Trying to respond to ucci has been extremely difficult and frustrating for me--I should never have made the attempt. Mia culpa.

What I've been trying to say is there is no right or wrong in the fact that people believe things--interpret things--differently. A person might say the sky is blue; another would say, no, that's only how your eyes see the atmosphere from where you are at the moment. There is, however, a great deal of dissimulation, deceit, truth hedging, whatever anyone wants to call it, in politics. There always has been and always will be. This may be okay if it's 'for the good of the Republic.' But only time can tell if it hasadvanced the Nation--been "good" for it. In the meantime, an individual should do what s/he can to sift through what's being taught and try to separate the wheat from the chaff, to cut through the crap s/he has been told in order to find some modicum of truth.

Was President Obama's decision to bail out financial institutions a correct one? I don't know, but I believe the world would be in much greater straits, financially, had he not done so. Sometime in the future, someone may decide one way or another. Was his decision to enact health care reform, as Congress had changed it, a correct one? Could be. I've heard people say, "Thank God for Obamacare!" just not as often as I've heard his detractors saying it'll never work. I don't know--my husband and I don't need it--but, we'll see on that one, too.

I don't believe it's for the good of the Republic for huge sums of single-source money to be used to influence people's votes. But the SCOTUS' decision in Citizen's United has made it possible for single-source money to be used this way. To me, that means reversing it's decision and taking away 'personhood' from corporations. Would that mean it would also take 'personhood' away from PACs? Maybe. Would that be bad? I don't know. I've seen no discussion of it.

'Markets' have phases. Sometimes, the market is up and sometime it's down. Btw, I'm not talking about the stock market, I'm talking about the goods market--the consumer market. Putting outside controls on the consumer market has shown that the highs and lows may not last as long or be as disparate as they are in a 'free' market.

You know, there's enough food thrown away every day in the US alone to feed the world. Or so I've heard and/or read. Health regulations require a lot of waste. Rather than throwing the money away, why not take the surplus (before it's pull date) and give it away? Or why not stop slaughtering so many animals and have grocery stores run out of things. Humans are very adaptable; stores ran out of stuff before and people survived. They might even learn to eat all parts of a slaughtered animal! (Ack, ack, uhhggg!)

Oh, but then people wouldn't have their 'freedom of choice!' Is freedom of choice a Constitutional 'right?' Does a plethora of choice lead to "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" as it says in the US Declaration of Independence? Or does it lead to piles of trash, some of which can't be recycled, accumulating in heaps, in pits gouged out of the earth and covered over with dirt so we don't see how much is wasted.

But, DAMN! If you cut production, you cut jobs and you can't do that! How about cutting the work week, then? Everyone gets the same salary they get for a 40 hr. work week, but work for 35 hrs., instead. Would that cut into manufacturing profits all that much? Or would it give more people more time to consume?

To everything there is a season...A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away...

Perhaps our 'getting time' is done and we need to 'lose' a bit. Perhaps we should keep what's good for the Republic and throw out what hasn't worked or what has been distorted beyond recognition. Systems should be protean--they aren't timeless and immutable.

Oh, and guys, I don't really understand written sarcasm. I need to see the speaker's face and listen to his tone of voice. Or, am I being sarcastic when I reply to sarcasm? Hmmm?

Enjoy--Liz
"Be what you would seem to be - or, if you'd like it put more simply - never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."
— Lewis Carroll
lizbethrose
Philosopher

Posts: 3556
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:55 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

### Re: Reforming Democracy

lizbethrose wrote:What I've been trying to say is there is no right or wrong in the fact that people believe things--interpret things--differently. A person might say the sky is blue; another would say, no, that's only how your eyes see the atmosphere from where you are at the moment. There is, however, a great deal of dissimulation, deceit, truth hedging, whatever anyone wants to call it, in politics. There always has been and always will be. This may be okay if it's 'for the good of the Republic.' But only time can tell if it hasadvanced the Nation--been "good" for it. In the meantime, an individual should do what s/he can to sift through what's being taught and try to separate the wheat from the chaff, to cut through the crap s/he has been told in order to find some modicum of truth.
Agreed

lizbethrose wrote:Was President Obama's decision to bail out financial institutions a correct one? I don't know, but I believe the world would be in much greater straits, financially, had he not done so. Sometime in the future, someone may decide one way or another. Was his decision to enact health care reform, as Congress had changed it, a correct one? Could be. I've heard people say, "Thank God for Obamacare!" just not as often as I've heard his detractors saying it'll never work. I don't know--my husband and I don't need it--but, we'll see on that one, too.
I agree you don't know. I remain skeptical, as to its ability to do what no government has ever done.

lizbethrose wrote:I don't believe it's for the good of the Republic for huge sums of single-source money to be used to influence people's votes. But the SCOTUS' decision in Citizen's United has made it possible for single-source money to be used this way. To me, that means reversing it's decision and taking away 'personhood' from corporations. Would that mean it would also take 'personhood' away from PACs? Maybe. Would that be bad? I don't know. I've seen no discussion of it.
Even if it is not good, attempting to stop it creates additional problems that are far worse than what the single-source does... Further, channeling the money through the government, which is what you have argued for would be a single source, with the same problems.

lizbethrose wrote:'Markets' have phases. Sometimes, the market is up and sometime it's down. Btw, I'm not talking about the stock market, I'm talking about the goods market--the consumer market. Putting outside controls on the consumer market has shown that the highs and lows may not last as long or be as disparate as they are in a 'free' market.
Agreed, markets (not the stock market which has it's own weird aspects) have cycles. The problem continues to be, humans in ability to believe the state we are in shall change. We like to project our current problems infinitely into the future, what will we do with all this horse shit, for example. All to often in the process of attempting to fix one problem causes so many more. Its why I don't back down from free market, a central government planning board is incapable of making all the decisions necessary.

lizbethrose wrote:You know, there's enough food thrown away every day in the US alone to feed the world. Or so I've heard and/or read. Health regulations require a lot of waste. Rather than throwing the money away, why not take the surplus (before it's pull date) and give it away? Or why not stop slaughtering so many animals and have grocery stores run out of things. Humans are very adaptable; stores ran out of stuff before and people survived. They might even learn to eat all parts of a slaughtered animal! (Ack, ack, uhhggg!)
The problem is rarely pure amounts of food, the problem is more often cost of getting the food to the people in question. It may cost more than 5 dollars to produce a hamburger, and ship it to a hungry place. It may cost 100 dollars to do so... What are you willing to give up so that another person can eat a hundred dollar hamburger? Would you sell your car, so that (assuming a $5,000 car) 50 people could eat one meal? Did that fix the problem, or are those people going to be hungry again? lizbethrose wrote:Oh, but then people wouldn't have their 'freedom of choice!' Is freedom of choice a Constitutional 'right? Here I get angry. You decide what's best for others? How arrogant. This shit is also why I have a problem with the Bill of Rights, YES, freedom of choice is a constitutional right, because the constitution does not give rights to the people, it gives rights to the government, who must beg for them from the people. The bill of rights is a illusion, all of the rights it spells out just throw a smoke screen over the fact that the government is not allow to step on those rights in the first place. My favorite example is a card, from a normal deck of cards. The constitution is this ace of spades. In its simplicity, it has all the information needed to be what it is, and only what it is. The bill of rights is the equivalent of attaching a list consisting of; This is not a 10 of diamonds; This is not a 9 of diamonds; This is not a 8 of diamonds; This is not a 7 of diamonds; This is not a 6 of diamonds; This is not a 5 of diamonds; This is not a 4 of diamonds; This is not a 3 of diamonds; This is not a 2 of diamonds; But, because things are left of the list, it does not mean it can be argued that it is something other than an ace of spades. Our constitution spells out the abilities of the government, not the rights of the citizens that they receive from the government. lizbethrose wrote:Does a plethora of choice lead to "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" as it says in the US Declaration of Independence? Yes. lizbethrose wrote:Or does it lead to piles of trash, some of which can't be recycled, accumulating in heaps, in pits gouged out of the earth and covered over with dirt so we don't see how much is wasted. This requires proof that all these things are better, in every way, before I'm interested in supporting it. lizbethrose wrote:But, DAMN! sarcasm? lizbethrose wrote:If you cut production, you cut jobs and you can't do that! Not if you want people to eat regularly. lizbethrose wrote:How about cutting the work week, then? Not if you want people to eat regularly. A reduction in production, is the same as an increase in costs, jobs will go to places with less costs, at least you better hope so. lizbethrose wrote:Everyone gets the same salary they get for a 40 hr. work week, but work for 35 hrs., instead. Well this be enforced by law? Will we throw the perpetrators in jail? Do you really think that charging someone with a crime, however handled for working a couple extra hours on their own business is going to convince people to work? I don't know where people get these ideas... Stepping on someone else's choices, that "don't effect" anyone else, that's the reason to support same sex marriage right? I stand with my idea that if the homosexuals would start voting Conservative, they would get a lot more support from people who actually believe in freedom. lizbethrose wrote:Would that cut into manufacturing profits all that much? Yes lizbethrose wrote:Or would it give more people more time to consume? Who cares, it steps on the freedom of people's right to do what they want with their lives, it creates a chance for greater disparity, it divides people more between those that already have, and those that can't work enough to get more. lizbethrose wrote: To everything there is a season...A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away... Perhaps our 'getting time' is done and we need to 'lose' a bit. Perhaps we should keep what's good for the Republic and throw out what hasn't worked or what has been distorted beyond recognition. Systems should be protean--they aren't timeless and immutable. Loose all you want, but don't take from others. Who's to decide what has been distorted beyond recognition, you? As Tonto said the the Lone Ranger, "What's this we shit, white man?" Speak for yourself, I am uninterested in what is "good" for the Republic if it only means doing what someone else believes is right, especially when they promote it, without any proof. lizbethrose wrote:Oh, and guys, I don't really understand written sarcasm. I need to see the speaker's face and listen to his tone of voice. Or, am I being sarcastic when I reply to sarcasm? Hmmm? I apologize, I've noted elsewhere sarcasm and tonal aspects of communication do not carry through in this form. I thought it would be obvious, it was my mistake. lizbethrose wrote:Enjoy--Liz I did. “Give a man a fish and he will ask for tartar sauce and French fries! Moreover, some politician who wants his vote will declare all these things to be among his ‘basic rights’” – An old saying rewritten by a follower of Thomas Sowell "It's true that the bastards would win. But we shouldn't shut down a system just because the bastards win. A good system should be like a hamster wheel for bastards hooked up an electric generator. A well designed system is not one that prevents bastards from winning, but one that generates a lot of positive externalities from bastards trying to beat each other. And that's exactly what markets do. Markets entice bastards, they reward bastards, and the bastards love them, but as they operate they generate a lot of good that inadvertently benefits everyone else." - Carleas The Newest EconPop: Economics of Demolition Man The man, Thomas Sowell: Wealth, Poverty and Politics Sowell's Writing Eric_The_Pipe Thinker Posts: 736 Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:06 pm Location: Colorado ### Re: Reforming Democracy Moreno wrote:First, he said constant wars. Yes, there's always some war going on in the world. Are you two saying there is one single individual responsible for this? Moreno wrote:Second, Bush got the results he wanted, or those behind him wanted. They transferred an unbelievable amount of money from taxpayers to corporations like Haliburton. The increase the privitization of the army. They set up a permanent military - now primarily private - presence in Iraq. The maintained all sorts of hostilities and increased others, and these hostilities will lead to continued shifts of taxpayer money to corporations in arms, rebuilding, security, etc. IOW friends of that administration, though, really, friends of all admins. There are other benefits, but those of some big, core, not really controversial ones. I was speaking hypothetically when I said "Bush may have thought this in his war with Iraq (I doubt it, but it's possible)"--I'm trying to keep separate, on the one hand, the definition of a psychopath from those in power who make unpalatable decisions from the point of view of common citizens, and on the other, proof of corruption/psychopathy and accusations of such based on a disliking for a politician. All that being said, I side with your sentiments in regards to Bush. Moreno wrote:The war was a success... Depends on the goals. If the goal was to establish a democracy/ally then it is currently failing as we speak. If the goal was just to get oil, well, it is still currently failing as Iraq would have to be an allie to the US or at least a place where the US military can remain in place, which doesn't seem will be the case for much longer. If Bush Jr. simply wanted to finish the war Bush Sr. started, then fine. Moreno wrote:The case for cleaning up the environment is more controversial since most people seem to consider the environment a non-sentient set of playthings and resource for them, not things that have value and intelligence and awareness in themselves. To me that is sociopathic, similar to someone who does not really get that other people have feelings. 1) No, that's a belief system. We have to believe that the environment is sentient and capable of suffering before we can feel guilty about hurting it. Clinical psychopathy is based on a lack of guilt over hurting other human beings or sentient animals which is something that comes natural to most people (i.e. it doesn't have to be taught). IOW, clinical psychopaths are special cases, those who believe the environment is not sentient are not. 2) A politician making a decision that harms the environment is not a sign that he doesn't care; it may be that he foresees some worse outcome if he doesn't make such a decision. For example, going to war against some Hitler or some terrorist group threatening to blow up the world--but war pollutes the environment. Moreno wrote: Even if the solution is complicated, the lack of concern, the lack of feeling, the does not give a shit is a sign of psychopathy. Yes, I agree... but how can we ever be so sure there is a lack of concern? Plus, the point I was making in my post about psychopathy as a case of moral relativism suggests that even if one shows no signs of concern still doesn't mean he's a psychopath in the clinical sense. Having a different morality will result in being concerned over different things. So one may not care about doing something which pollutes the environment because he believes global warming is just a conspiracy (there are still some who actually say this) and so he's not really doing any harm to the environment. But that doesn't mean he has no feeling about hurting others or killing people. But unless you take these things into consideration, he's not going to be distinguishable from an actual case of clinical psychopathy. Moreno wrote:And as above, sociopathy and psychopathy at root have an utter lack of concern about how ones actions affect others. It is not simply choosing cruel solutions, though this is often the result. And these people are psychopaths. Yes, but being put into a position of having to make tough decisions means that you're going to be sometimes forced to make decisions that seem heartless to others and that wll make you look psychotic. Moreno wrote:Couldn't quite get this point, but there is a clear pattern of quid pro quo between industry and politicians. And revolving doors in many places, perhaps especially in governmental oversight of industry. Sure, but Chakra's point was that because there are rich people and poor people, then there must be some evil politician responsible for this, and doing it willingly and laughing about it, and he's a psychopath. That's an incredibly long thread to be reeling in. My discussion with Eric about sweat shops sheds a different light on this. My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea. - Jordan Peterson Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice. - Ben Shapiro right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening. - promethean75 Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now. - Ecmandu gib resident exorcist Posts: 9010 Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm Location: in your mom ### Re: Reforming Democracy gib wrote:Yes, there's always some war going on in the world. Are you two saying there is one single individual responsible for this? I am not sure what he or she meant. I assumed it was a criticism of the wars we have had for 13 years now and ones the US is involved in and seems bent on finding more to get involved in. I am not sure where the one person issue is coming from. I see a class or group of people who are interested in certain goals, not only do not dislike war, but see war as valuable - given what they can earn through it - and that these people see wars to the people who will pay for them. It's not a coincidence that Cheney earned money from the wars he sold and worked for companies that got no bid contracts, or that Bush has connections to these types of companies as his father, who started the first gulf war did. Oh, and they happened to make money from these things. Oh, people who gave them huge amounts of money benefitted from these wars. But one Person, no. Myabe the other person blamed one person, in that case, I misread the context. I don't. I woudl guess however that their point was more that the results of policies connect more to the direct intentions of the politicians and that he was using a symbolic individual laughing to represent this. It's like at a certain point collateral damage has no moral superiority to people getting killed directly. I meant to kill that guy on the sidewalk and I did. Oh, we meant to bomb the factory and we are sorry that for the 800th times a thousand villagers were also killed. We are better than terrorists. People often fail to publically take responsibility for the so called 'side effects' that in fact do represent well the person's actual feelings. One of the side effects of the wars was that huge amounts of money went to people the administration worked with. Not a side effect, an intended effect. A lot of Iraquis and generally poor americans were killed or maimed or traumatized. I don't think they give a shit about that. It's not just a necessary evil. It is not an evil to them. I was speaking hypothetically when I said "Bush may have thought this in his war with Iraq (I doubt it, but it's possible)"--I'm trying to keep separate, on the one hand, the definition of a psychopath from those in power who make unpalatable decisions from the point of view of common citizens, and on the other, proof of corruption/psychopathy and accusations of such based on a disliking for a politician. All that being said, I side with your sentiments in regards to Bush. And perhaps people on our side of the spectrum will tend to trust the left leaning presidents. But I don't. They are making money also off all this. And it was Clinton, for example, who set up the legislative change that directly led to the 2008 collapses in the finance world that are still rippling outwards and damaging lives. And yes, he was supported financially and had connections to the neo cons and finance industry companies and people who benefitted from the giant shift of money upward that ultimately led to the crash that also led to more shift upward as these same people then when on buying sprees. Depends on the goals. If the goal was to establish a democracy/ally then it is currently failing as we speak. If the goal was just to get oil, well, it is still currently failing as Iraq would have to be an allie to the US or at least a place where the US military can remain in place, which doesn't seem will be the case for much longer. It was not a success for me, but for Bush. I would guess the neo cons have much more control of that oil than they did before. They have an army in place there also. 1) No, that's a belief system. We have to believe that the environment is sentient and capable of suffering before we can feel guilty about hurting it. Clinical psychopathy is based on a lack of guilt over hurting other human beings or sentient animals which is something that comes natural to most people (i.e. it doesn't have to be taught). IOW, clinical psychopaths are special cases, those who believe the environment is not sentient are not. It was a belief system that darker peoples were not fully human, often that they did not feel the same types of pain other humans did. That was a sociopathic belief system caused by/causing sociopathy. Any idiot could see blacks were human, unless they had a cognitive system in place to make them sociopathic -in that case in relation to blacks. Similar things can be said about women. Some conventional sociopaths do have cognitive systems in place that justify their not giving a shit who they hurt. Others simply are that way. What having belief systems like this can do is create sociopathy. 2) A politician making a decision that harms the environment is not a sign that he doesn't care; it may be that he foresees some worse outcome if he doesn't make such a decision. For example, going to war against some Hitler or some terrorist group threatening to blow up the world--but war pollutes the environment. It may be a sign he does not care. And many of them do not care. They do not have a direct reaction to nature except in a visual sense. AS something pretty. They may have some cognitive intellectual respect for what a healthy environment does for humans. That is not empathy or direct care, that is intrumental appreciation. Most people do not have the former. Politicians are not an exception. Yes, I agree... but how can we ever be so sure there is a lack of concern? How can we be sure that whatever your default assessment is is the case. Because you have one. You believe some kind of likely vaguely thought out assessment of them. Perhaps with a sort of, well they are like other humans, with some range of caring, might as well give them the benefit of the doubt until further notice or specific legislation demonstrates. To me a position like that has no evidence in the sense of scientific either. That may not have been a fair exampel at all, so let me know what your position is. I trust my intuitive and experience based assessment that these guys have little direct care. This does not make them especially evil, it is part of the culture, or cut off. Given the values a politician needs to have to be successful, I would guess they have less direct care and concern than the average person. But even if they simply have as much as the average person, it is not much. Plus, the point I was making in my post about psychopathy as a case of moral relativism suggests that even if one shows no signs of concern still doesn't mean he's a psychopath in the clinical sense. Having a different morality will result in being concerned over different things. Right and it is a good poitn. However from where I sit having a morality that creates sociopathy and being hardwired from birth or damage via abusive uppbringing matters little in functional terms. Yes, the Nazis has different values, but I see no reason not to call them sociopaths in relation to Jews, gypsies, gays, the mentally ill...... Moreno ILP Legend Posts: 10305 Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 5:46 pm ### Re: Reforming Democracy Chakra Superstar wrote:One last post... (I hope). Two famous experiments that would be illegal to do today because of the traumatic psychological effects. This is what I mean about a psychopathic system. These systems bring out the worst in people. Little by little ordinary people experience a deadening of conscience until they're doing things that even frighten them. How did ordinary US soldiers shoot horses and dogs, fling puppies to their deaths, rape young girls, torture human beings and kill at least 37 prisoners during 'interrogations' in Abu Ghraib? Little by little we become souless..... I've seen the footage about the Milgram experiment, but not the one about the Stanford experiment. The frightening thing about the first, to me, is that no one will ever know how s/he would react in those circumstances. Just how much faith do we have in our authority figures? I'm sure we all have more than we're willing to admit. But--and there is a 'but'--my nephew was in Afghanistan for 16 mo. He was the top marksman in his unit. One day he was told to shoot a "family burro" that had been hobbled in a open field. He protested, he just didn't want to kill the little animal. But he was ordered to do it because, his CO told him, it might have been put in the field to lure the soldiers into a mine field--or it might be packed with explosives, controlled remotely, that would detonate if a soldier tried to save it. My nephew shot and killed it. Now here's the 'but.' My nephew is still suffering from PTSD, not just because of the trauma of that incident, of course, but it played it's part. And I think that's what's happened to a lot of our young soldiers--they follow the orders, at a tremendous cost to their mental health. The Stanford experiment was like watching the Abu Ghraib film clips all over again--the bags over the 'prisoners' heads, stripping them for 'de-lousing', the degradation of it all. I wondered if the Abu Ghraib guards learned that or if they were specially chosen because they were bullies to start with. The one called John Wayne was very disturbing because he's always maintained he had 'created' a character and was 'playing a part.' Police departments seem notorious for the number of disturbed bullies on the payroll. It's even more frightening, if what I've read is true, if Homeland Security is selling military equipment to certain PDs and training SWAT teams as Special Forces. (Google The Militarization of American Police.) The problem is, as has been pointed out in this thread, how do you weed out the potential psychopaths before they act psychopathically--Before they're elected--especially when the bulk of the electorate are conditioned to bow to authority? Thanks for sharing, Chakra. Remember Shakespeare, "The evil men do lives after them, the good is often interred with their bones."--Julius Caesar "Be what you would seem to be - or, if you'd like it put more simply - never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise." — Lewis Carroll lizbethrose Philosopher Posts: 3556 Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:55 am Location: Pacific Northwest ### Re: Reforming Democracy Moreno wrote:I am not sure what he or she meant. I assumed it was a criticism of the wars we have had for 13 years now and ones the US is involved in and seems bent on finding more to get involved in. I am not sure where the one person issue is coming from. I see a class or group of people who are interested in certain goals, not only do not dislike war, but see war as valuable - given what they can earn through it - and that these people see wars to the people who will pay for them. It's not a coincidence that Cheney earned money from the wars he sold and worked for companies that got no bid contracts, or that Bush has connections to these types of companies as his father, who started the first gulf war did. Oh, and they happened to make money from these things. Oh, people who gave them huge amounts of money benefitted from these wars. But one Person, no. Myabe the other person blamed one person, in that case, I misread the context. I don't. I woudl guess however that their point was more that the results of policies connect more to the direct intentions of the politicians and that he was using a symbolic individual laughing to represent this. It's like at a certain point collateral damage has no moral superiority to people getting killed directly. I meant to kill that guy on the sidewalk and I did. Oh, we meant to bomb the factory and we are sorry that for the 800th times a thousand villagers were also killed. We are better than terrorists. People often fail to publically take responsibility for the so called 'side effects' that in fact do represent well the person's actual feelings. One of the side effects of the wars was that huge amounts of money went to people the administration worked with. Not a side effect, an intended effect. A lot of Iraquis and generally poor americans were killed or maimed or traumatized. I don't think they give a shit about that. It's not just a necessary evil. It is not an evil to them. Ok, Moreno, if you feel you have strong evidence that these people are being drive by personal financial gain, and that this is occluding any feelings of remorse or guilt for the deaths of thousands in the wars they need in order to get this financial gain, we'll go with the "psychopath" label. But you do understand my point, don't you? I'm not trying to absolve these people from culpability, I'm trying to be cautious about what conclusions I arrive at and what opinions I end up buying into, and also to admonish anyone engaged in a discussion like this to do the same; I've been trying to recommend a few cognitive rules: for example, question whether any seemingly psychopathic behavior is the result of a real lack of concern or guilt about committing wrongs or a result of moral relativism. I feel that in the latter case, there's still hope of reasoning with the person. In the former, the person will simply play games with your attempts to reason. I feel this is a very important distinction to make. But if you feel you have strong evidence that we're dealing with the former case, then let's go with that (not that it's hard for me to imagine). BTW, how much are you generalizing this? It sounds like your charge of psychopathy is limited to the Bush regime, but do you mean to say that all politicians are psychotic? Moreno wrote:It was a belief system that darker peoples were not fully human, often that they did not feel the same types of pain other humans did. That was a sociopathic belief system caused by/causing sociopathy. Any idiot could see blacks were human, unless they had a cognitive system in place to make them sociopathic -in that case in relation to blacks. Similar things can be said about women. Some conventional sociopaths do have cognitive systems in place that justify their not giving a shit who they hurt. Others simply are that way. What having belief systems like this can do is create sociopathy. You may be right about the racism thing, but if you extend this to things like rocks and trees, then you're essentially saying everyone's a potential psychopath. It might take an idiot to not see that blacks are human beings too, capable of feeling pain and emotional hurt just as much as anyone else, but does it take an idiot to believe rocks don't feel pain? Does the fact that I could smash a rock with a hammer without batting an eye mean that I have no conscience? And what if rocks are in a constant state of pain until they get smashed by a hammer? What if I'm guilty of negligence when I pass by a rock on the street without kicking it? Yes, it requires a socially acquired thought system to suppress the guilt one would otherwise feel when treating other groups as not being worth consideration as fully human, and I suppose that would qualify one as a "conditioned" psychopath, but there are other things over which I don't think there is any guilt to suppress, things like rocks, trees, oceans, etc., things which if damaged don't suffer any harm or pain. If I'm wrong in this, it's not because I'm in denial, it's because human beings don't naturally anthropomorphize these kinds of things. Of course, there is an indirect human (and animal) cost to damaging the environment, and if one goes ahead and does something damaging to the environment knowing about this indirect cost, and doesn't feel the least bit remorse or guilt, then I would qualify that as psychopathic. (Just to get the logic straight though, if that individual talked himself out of knowing that there would be these harmful indirect costs to others, and in that way eased his conscience, I'd be less inclined to call him "psychotic"--maybe a different kind of psychopath, but this is veering away from the standard definition, which, from what I understand, requires knowing full well you're causing harm or hurting people and yet not caring at all). Moreno wrote:It may be a sign he does not care. I'm not interested in signs, I want to know the truth. Moreno wrote:How can we be sure that whatever your default assessment is is the case. Because you have one. You believe some kind of likely vaguely thought out assessment of them. Perhaps with a sort of, well they are like other humans, with some range of caring, might as well give them the benefit of the doubt until further notice or specific legislation demonstrates. To me a position like that has no evidence in the sense of scientific either. That may not have been a fair exampel at all, so let me know what your position is. My position is that before we go to war and violently overthrow those in power, we better damn well know if they really are psychopaths or not. I will not slit the throat of a politician based on a feeling. What I'm concerned about is that what the common citizen sees as corruption or psychopathy is what any citizen would end up doing if he entered into politics and got elected; and I don't mean because the system and the power he'd gain would slowly chew away at his conscience until it was gone, but because, being in that position, being informed by the details of the situations he has to face (some of which being classified information), for the first time having to take seriously the potential consequences of not going to war, not harming the environment, not bailing out large corporations, he may just end up making decisions that he never would have dreamed he'd make before entering into that position. Would it be the decisions that a psychopath would make? Oh, probably. But I don't know that a non-psychopath would not make those same decisions. Even if there's a chance your country could still be a republic, it means there are those in politics, even perhaps those in power, who are there trying to do the right thing, trying to help you, and if you go to war with them, you will not only be shooting yourself in the foot, but undermining everything that's supposed to make a democratic republic work. Moreno wrote:I trust my intuitive and experience based assessment that these guys have little direct care. This does not make them especially evil, it is part of the culture, or cut off. Given the values a politician needs to have to be successful, I would guess they have less direct care and concern than the average person. But even if they simply have as much as the average person, it is not much. Could it be this: Imagine a young politician early in his career actually caring passionately for some cause--maybe to give better working opportunities to women, or maybe to work on peaceful relations with other countries rather than war--this is before any corrupting influence can be exacted on him. He furthers his career as time goes on and he makes decisions on what's worth the cause he's fighting for and what's not. Suppose, for example, that he has to lay off a few employees who are working under him in order to save money--this is bad for their careers obviously, but he feels it is worth it because of the higher moral goal (opportunities for women, peace with other nations, whatever)--so he does it. As he moves further along in his career, he may have to make bigger sacrifices for the sake of his goal--say, he has to lie or cheat, or say he has to frame someone who is opposing him, put him in jail so he's out of the way--he may tell himself the guy's a crook anyway (obviously, since he's fighting against a moral goal--women, peace, whatever). Now there comes a point when he had passed the point of no return, a point at which he has sacrificed too much to just turn around and say "you know, I've been thinking about it and I think I was wrong. I no longer think it's worth the goal of giving women greater working opportunities or striving for peace with other nations." If he did that, he would be accountable for all the deplorable actions in his past. So now, a psychological twist begins to take place in his mind--he begins to exaggerate the moral worth of the goal he originally set out to fight for; now almost anything can be worth the goal. Pushed to the extreme, he might end up investing his entire moral sensibility into this one goal, meaning that for him it becomes the only moral concern there is, and that everything else must serve that single moral concern. Would this be yet another kind of psychopath? It would be an interesting kind because it would be based, not on a lack or conscience or moral compass, but a conscience or moral compass whose energies and focus have become so distorted and twisted out of wack that he is made into a crazed fanatic. Moreno wrote:Right and it is a good poitn. However from where I sit having a morality that creates sociopathy and being hardwired from birth or damage via abusive uppbringing matters little in functional terms. Yes, the Nazis has different values, but I see no reason not to call them sociopaths in relation to Jews, gypsies, gays, the mentally ill...... Fair enough, but I think it makes a huge difference in terms of how we treat them or go about solving the problem. My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea. - Jordan Peterson Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice. - Ben Shapiro right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening. - promethean75 Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now. - Ecmandu gib resident exorcist Posts: 9010 Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm Location: in your mom ### Re: Reforming Democracy “Give a man a fish and he will ask for tartar sauce and French fries! Moreover, some politician who wants his vote will declare all these things to be among his ‘basic rights’” – An old saying rewritten by a follower of Thomas Sowell "It's true that the bastards would win. But we shouldn't shut down a system just because the bastards win. A good system should be like a hamster wheel for bastards hooked up an electric generator. A well designed system is not one that prevents bastards from winning, but one that generates a lot of positive externalities from bastards trying to beat each other. And that's exactly what markets do. Markets entice bastards, they reward bastards, and the bastards love them, but as they operate they generate a lot of good that inadvertently benefits everyone else." - Carleas The Newest EconPop: Economics of Demolition Man The man, Thomas Sowell: Wealth, Poverty and Politics Sowell's Writing Eric_The_Pipe Thinker Posts: 736 Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:06 pm Location: Colorado ### Re: Reforming Democracy I think as long as the guy has a camera up that says "smile, you're on camera!", and he has the video of the guy stealing, then any case against him will go nowhere. You wouldn't believe the way they'd trample the kid's rights if he came to court with this case trying to sue. You see...a pimp's love is very different from that of a square. Dating a stripper is like eating a noisy bag of chips in church. Everyone looks at you in disgust, but deep down they want some too. What exactly is logic? -Magnus Anderson Support the innocence project on AmazonSmile instead of Turd's African savior biker dude. http://www.innocenceproject.org/ Mr Reasonable resident contrarian Posts: 26064 Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:54 am Location: pimping a hole straight through the stratosphere itself ### Re: Reforming Democracy Eric_The_Pipe wrote:To be honest, Gib, I think this is where the true corruption of our society lays.(Linked to allow going to, but posted here in full) In shop lifters? JK... you must mean the law and how it's set up to allow shop lifters to sue their victims for exposing their crime... or do you mean how the lawyer would aid a felon in suing his victim in order to make a buck? My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea. - Jordan Peterson Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice. - Ben Shapiro right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening. - promethean75 Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now. - Ecmandu gib resident exorcist Posts: 9010 Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm Location: in your mom ### Re: Reforming Democracy gib wrote: Eric_The_Pipe wrote:To be honest, Gib, I think this is where the true corruption of our society lays.(Linked to allow going to, but posted here in full) In shop lifters? JK... gib wrote:you must mean the law and how it's set up to allow shop lifters to sue their victims for exposing their crime... or do you mean how the lawyer would aid a felon in suing his victim in order to make a buck? Can't it be both? It is a broken window policy of sorts. Things like this are the broken windows that convince people they can get away with more crap... Though evidence points towards an increase in cops being the reason for a drop in crime, not the "broken window" policy of Giuliani... The theory holds for the analogy. “Give a man a fish and he will ask for tartar sauce and French fries! Moreover, some politician who wants his vote will declare all these things to be among his ‘basic rights’” – An old saying rewritten by a follower of Thomas Sowell "It's true that the bastards would win. But we shouldn't shut down a system just because the bastards win. A good system should be like a hamster wheel for bastards hooked up an electric generator. A well designed system is not one that prevents bastards from winning, but one that generates a lot of positive externalities from bastards trying to beat each other. And that's exactly what markets do. Markets entice bastards, they reward bastards, and the bastards love them, but as they operate they generate a lot of good that inadvertently benefits everyone else." - Carleas The Newest EconPop: Economics of Demolition Man The man, Thomas Sowell: Wealth, Poverty and Politics Sowell's Writing Eric_The_Pipe Thinker Posts: 736 Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:06 pm Location: Colorado ### Re: Reforming Democracy gib wrote:I tried to arbiter above, but I think that was a mistake, so I won't do it again; but I want to ask a question. I'm not as informed as I could be about the specific issues you guys are arguing over, so I can't really take sides, but am I interpreting this properly? Ucci, are you arguing that one, in these kinds of discussions, ought to recognize that both sides of the debate are equally biased and, in a relativistic manner of speaking, both are right in their own way? Eh, not really. I'm a biased conservative, I don't think both sides are equally right about much of anything at all. My point is that the left has their ways of manipulating public opinion (spending union dues on political campaigns, hegemony over education, consumer media, and journalism), and the conservatives have their ways of manipulating public opinion- corporate funding of commercials, candidates, and research, and religious speech. Lizbeth wants to 'get the money out of politics', but she only wants to get the conservative money out of politics, and she just happens to be a liberal. I'm saying that first of all that's obviously just an agenda to make sure her side doesn't lose elections anymore, and that secondly, campaign finance reform as a general rule is subject to that same sort of problem because different factions/agenda get their funding from such wildly different sources that you can't make a rule that affects them all equally. Again- is there any reason why it's bad for the Koch Brothers to make a commercial advocating A, but good for Michael Moore to make a movie advocating B? Lizbeth appeared to give a defense of this, THEN went on to say that she wasn't defending Michael Moore, so I guess I'll call that question unanswered for now. She doesn't think religion should have an influence on politics. Why not, when there are equally impassioned and supernaturally-inclined environmentalists that have plenty of influence? And one can recognize the equality in being biased and in one-sided listening between the factions while at the same time recognize that one side is actually right and the other side actually wrong. <-- I think this is Liz's position (though I could be very wrong). Well then she should admit it and say "I think conservatives are wrong, so here's my ideas on how to make sure conservatives don't have the same influence over the political process that liberals do", instead of pretending this is about 'fairness' or 'the people' or whatever. What do you think? Is "To make sure particular political views I'm opposed to don't have a voice" what campaign finance reform should be all about? In Summary- It's not like I think I'm winning some moral victory by pointing out Lizbeth has a political bias. The point is, her suggestions exist only to further the ends of that bias, they wouldn't actually make anything more fair! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8mPuckq ... ure=vmdshb http://deepfreeze.it/ Curious about corrupt practices in video game journalism? Look no further. Uccisore The Legitimatizer Posts: 13279 Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2002 8:14 pm Location: Deep in the forests of Maine ### Re: Reforming Democracy Uccisore wrote: gib wrote:I tried to arbiter above, but I think that was a mistake, so I won't do it again; but I want to ask a question. I'm not as informed as I could be about the specific issues you guys are arguing over, so I can't really take sides, but am I interpreting this properly? Ucci, are you arguing that one, in these kinds of discussions, ought to recognize that both sides of the debate are equally biased and, in a relativistic manner of speaking, both are right in their own way? Eh, not really. I'm a biased conservative, I don't think both sides are equally right about much of anything at all. My point is that the left has their ways of manipulating public opinion (spending union dues on political campaigns, hegemony over education, consumer media, and journalism), and the conservatives have their ways of manipulating public opinion- corporate funding of commercials, candidates, and research, and religious speech. Lizbeth wants to 'get the money out of politics', but she only wants to get the conservative money out of politics, and she just happens to be a liberal. I'm saying that first of all that's obviously just an agenda to make sure her side doesn't lose elections anymore, and that secondly, campaign finance reform as a general rule is subject to that same sort of problem because different factions/agenda get their funding from such wildly different sources that you can't make a rule that affects them all equally. Again- is there any reason why it's bad for the Koch Brothers to make a commercial advocating A, but good for Michael Moore to make a movie advocating B? Lizbeth appeared to give a defense of this, THEN went on to say that she wasn't defending Michael Moore, so I guess I'll call that question unanswered for now. She doesn't think religion should have an influence on politics. Why not, when there are equally impassioned and supernaturally-inclined environmentalists that have plenty of influence? And one can recognize the equality in being biased and in one-sided listening between the factions while at the same time recognize that one side is actually right and the other side actually wrong. <-- I think this is Liz's position (though I could be very wrong). Well then she should admit it and say "I think conservatives are wrong, so here's my ideas on how to make sure conservatives don't have the same influence over the political process that liberals do", instead of pretending this is about 'fairness' or 'the people' or whatever. What do you think? Is "To make sure particular political views I'm opposed to don't have a voice" what campaign finance reform should be all about? In Summary- It's not like I think I'm winning some moral victory by pointing out Lizbeth has a political bias. The point is, her suggestions exist only to further the ends of that bias, they wouldn't actually make anything more fair! Do you support any sort of campaign finance reform? Should we let anyone contribute as they wish? “Give a man a fish and he will ask for tartar sauce and French fries! Moreover, some politician who wants his vote will declare all these things to be among his ‘basic rights’” – An old saying rewritten by a follower of Thomas Sowell "It's true that the bastards would win. But we shouldn't shut down a system just because the bastards win. A good system should be like a hamster wheel for bastards hooked up an electric generator. A well designed system is not one that prevents bastards from winning, but one that generates a lot of positive externalities from bastards trying to beat each other. And that's exactly what markets do. Markets entice bastards, they reward bastards, and the bastards love them, but as they operate they generate a lot of good that inadvertently benefits everyone else." - Carleas The Newest EconPop: Economics of Demolition Man The man, Thomas Sowell: Wealth, Poverty and Politics Sowell's Writing Eric_The_Pipe Thinker Posts: 736 Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:06 pm Location: Colorado ### Re: Reforming Democracy Ucci, thanks for putting this into perspective for me. Uccisore wrote:Well then she should admit it and say "I think conservatives are wrong, so here's my ideas on how to make sure conservatives don't have the same influence over the political process that liberals do", instead of pretending this is about 'fairness' or 'the people' or whatever. Hmmm... there's a difference between disagreeing with one side of a debate and not wanting them to benefit equally with everyone else. One could say "I think the cure to cancer is to dump melted chocolate all over one's head, and if I get into power, I'm going to enforce this policy in health care all across the nation." I could disagree with this vehemently and not want this guy or his adherents to ever get into power; I would want people like myself and my adherents to get into power so that we can allow the medical industry to continue in their search for the cure to cancer in the usual scientific manner. But that doesn't mean I want to the other faction to get cancer and die; I would want everyone, even them, to benefit from the cure should it be found. I know that's probably not want you nor Liz meant, nor what you think the other meant, but I wanted to put it out there just for clarification. To sum up: not wanting the other faction to have power isn't always "being unfair" and it isn't always at the expense of "the people". My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea. - Jordan Peterson Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice. - Ben Shapiro right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening. - promethean75 Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now. - Ecmandu gib resident exorcist Posts: 9010 Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm Location: in your mom ### Re: Reforming Democracy gib wrote:Ucci, thanks for putting this into perspective for me. Uccisore wrote:Well then she should admit it and say "I think conservatives are wrong, so here's my ideas on how to make sure conservatives don't have the same influence over the political process that liberals do", instead of pretending this is about 'fairness' or 'the people' or whatever. Hmmm... there's a difference between disagreeing with one side of a debate and not wanting them to benefit equally with everyone else. One could say "I think the cure to cancer is to dump melted chocolate all over one's head, and if I get into power, I'm going to enforce this policy in health care all across the nation." I could disagree with this vehemently and not want this guy or his adherents to ever get into power; I would want people like myself and my adherents to get into power so that we can allow the medical industry to continue in their search for the cure to cancer in the usual scientific manner. But that doesn't mean I want to the other faction to get cancer and die; I would want everyone, even them, to benefit from the cure should it be found. I know that's probably not want you nor Liz meant, nor what you think the other meant, but I wanted to put it out there just for clarification. To sum up: not wanting the other faction to have power isn't always "being unfair" and it isn't always at the expense of "the people". Keeping with your analogy, the problem isn't in you not wanting these other people from getting into power because you disagree with them. The problem arises when the only way to solve cancer is your way. All of their supporters, and how they raise money, are blocked, legally. That is one of the problems with what Liz suggests is that it is a predetermined right way to fight for a political cause often revolves around how you side fights. It is fine to think the chocolate coalition is wrong, to work against them, but it is not fine to make it illegal (or detrimental) to be in the chocolate coalition... Personal Example: I find Marxism and its derivatives to be foolish, bad policy all to often promoted by people that believe "they" would be the ones in charge and so have no problem pressing it forward. It could be considered a OK action to stop these people from gathering, from fundraising, from attempting to push their policies through. (I personally would find such an action to be at least as repugnant as I find Marxism). A standing theory, that they have never proved wrong, is that such an action is OK with the progressives. This idea has been formed not just from seeing their actions, but also actual published progressive books supporting the idea. While the right thinks that the left is at worst dangerously wrong, the left thinks the right is Evil. Evil people do not have to be dealt with fairly. I believe this is an aspect of what Ucc is explaining. “Give a man a fish and he will ask for tartar sauce and French fries! Moreover, some politician who wants his vote will declare all these things to be among his ‘basic rights’” – An old saying rewritten by a follower of Thomas Sowell "It's true that the bastards would win. But we shouldn't shut down a system just because the bastards win. A good system should be like a hamster wheel for bastards hooked up an electric generator. A well designed system is not one that prevents bastards from winning, but one that generates a lot of positive externalities from bastards trying to beat each other. And that's exactly what markets do. Markets entice bastards, they reward bastards, and the bastards love them, but as they operate they generate a lot of good that inadvertently benefits everyone else." - Carleas The Newest EconPop: Economics of Demolition Man The man, Thomas Sowell: Wealth, Poverty and Politics Sowell's Writing Eric_The_Pipe Thinker Posts: 736 Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:06 pm Location: Colorado ### Re: Reforming Democracy Eric_The_Pipe wrote:]Do you support any sort of campaign finance reform? Should we let anyone contribute as they wish? They are going to anyway- with some Pac or special organization or arrangement. I'd like all financing to be public, so people can know where money is coming from, especially for donations over some high amount. I'd like to keep foreign money out of our elections. I can't think of much justification for restrictions other than that. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8mPuckq ... ure=vmdshb http://deepfreeze.it/ Curious about corrupt practices in video game journalism? Look no further. Uccisore The Legitimatizer Posts: 13279 Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2002 8:14 pm Location: Deep in the forests of Maine ### Re: Reforming Democracy gib wrote:I know that's probably not want you nor Liz meant, nor what you think the other meant, but I wanted to put it out there just for clarification. To sum up: not wanting the other faction to have power isn't always "being unfair" and it isn't always at the expense of "the people". My gripe is that none of this was presented as Liz's master plan on how to make sure liberals don't lose elections anymore. If that's what she wanted and that's what she thought would benefit the people, then this would be a very different conversation- for one thing, I'd have to admit that her proposals would probably work to that end. Your analogy breaks down because dumping chocolate all over one's head is a neutral action- we all get sticky, and we all avoid cancer if it works. What Liz wants is to restrict how some people participate in the political process, but not others. How is that a desire for what's better for everyone? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8mPuckq ... ure=vmdshb http://deepfreeze.it/ Curious about corrupt practices in video game journalism? Look no further. Uccisore The Legitimatizer Posts: 13279 Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2002 8:14 pm Location: Deep in the forests of Maine ### Re: Reforming Democracy Chakra Superstar wrote:Secondly, I'm not interpreting ‘secret thoughts and motivations of complete strangers’ by calling out sociopaths. I'm observing their actions No. You aren't. You're seeing people on T.V., or hearing about what they did interpreted through the mouth of your favorite media personalities. You didn't follow Bush around and observe him doing shit. I'm not being facetious here- I can't even spell it. The people who are actually trained and paid to discern who is a sociopath or a psychopath would never make that diagnosis on the basis of what they heard about somebody on a T.V. show. If you can't see the difference between "Diagnosing somebody with a mental condition on the basis of observation" and "Forming an opinion of somebody based on what I heard on the internet about them", then I don't know what to tell you. Perhaps I should ask you about your hate for Hitler or Stalin any other mass murderer? Do you think your pre-existent cynicism toward these people is playing a role about how you interpret the ‘secret thoughts and motivation of a complete stranger’? Of course they fucking do! I haven't heard a good word about Hitler or Stalin in my entire life! How could that not play a role in what I think of them? I've looked at the facts as much as I am able and as best I can tell, the consensus about their actions is correct. What I'm not going to do is diagnose them with some particular mental condition because I don't know them. I judge Hitler, Stalin, Bush and Albright on their actions (killing) and their response to suffering they inflicted on others. But you don't know their response. You don't know what's in their conscience. You say you aren't judging based on political ideology, but theirs and yours are literally all the information you have. You have to understand- thinking it's reasonable to talk about Bush and Hitler in the same sentence as though they are guilty of the same kinds of things makes you a political radical. You're just using the language of mental health to justify your radicalism, which is exactly what I expressed concern to gib about. It's a recursive problem- gib wants mental diagnosis to be part of the political process to help us pick good candidates. You want to use mental diagnoses as pejoratives to sling at people who do things you are ideologically opposed to. The result? Your ideological statements gain evidence and support purely through the means you use to phrase them. "If I call Bush a psychopath instead of an asshole, my beliefs become stronger, because a psychopath is a particular thing that nobody wants as a president". Swap out the pejorative with something that sounds more professional, a little equivocation, and boom, you have an educated opinion instead of just invective. You see it's much easier for me. I don’t have any political, religious or national allegiances. I'm free to observe without bias (as much as that's possible). Haha. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8mPuckq ... ure=vmdshb http://deepfreeze.it/ Curious about corrupt practices in video game journalism? Look no further. Uccisore The Legitimatizer Posts: 13279 Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2002 8:14 pm Location: Deep in the forests of Maine ### Re: Reforming Democracy Uccisore wrote: Your analogy breaks down because dumping chocolate all over one's head is a neutral action- we all get sticky, and we all avoid cancer if it works. What Liz wants is to restrict how some people participate in the political process, but not others. How is that a desire for what's better for everyone? If this is indeed what Liz wants, I think it's a bit extreme, but that doesn't mean she wants conservatives or progressives to suffer any more than my restricting those who want to poor chocolate all over cancer patients' heads from getting into the medical profession means that I want them to get cancer. I believe that by restricting them, I'm contributing to helping fight cancer for everyone. I may be wrong--maybe dumping chocolate on their heads does cure cancer--and I may be extreme--maybe barring them from the medical profession is too much--but that says nothing of my desire to help everyone. I'll let Liz speak for herself about weather this represents her views or not. My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea. - Jordan Peterson Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice. - Ben Shapiro right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening. - promethean75 Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now. - Ecmandu gib resident exorcist Posts: 9010 Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm Location: in your mom ### Re: Reforming Democracy I speak for myself, as I should and have tried to do throughout this thread, I what I say is accepted as that. uccisore wrote: Eh, not really. I'm a biased conservative, I don't think both sides are equally right about much of anything at all. My point is that the left has their ways of manipulating public opinion (spending union dues on political campaigns, hegemony over education, consumer media, and journalism), and the conservatives have their ways of manipulating public opinion- corporate funding of commercials, candidates, and research, and religious speech. Lizbeth wants to 'get the money out of politics', but she only wants to get the conservative money out of politics, and she just happens to be a liberal. I'm saying that first of all that's obviously just an agenda to make sure her side doesn't lose elections anymore, and that secondly, campaign finance reform as a general rule is subject to that same sort of problem because different factions/agenda get their funding from such wildly different sources that you can't make a rule that affects them all equally. Again- is there any reason why it's bad for the Koch Brothers to make a commercial advocating A, but good for Michael Moore to make a movie advocating B? Lizbeth appeared to give a defense of this, THEN went on to say that she wasn't defending Michael Moore, so I guess I'll call that question unanswered for now. She doesn't think religion should have an influence on politics. Why not, when there are equally impassioned and supernaturally-inclined environmentalists that have plenty of influence? Ucci, I've tried to find a correlation between the AFP nationwide, TV commercial (advertisement) and Michael Moore's, released in movie theaters worldwide, documentary films. For the life of me, I can't see it! It's like trying to correlate casaba melons and zucchini! They both grow on vines and that's it. I can't describe it any other way and I do not understand why you continue to try to compare the two. I really, truly, don't! Nor do I understand why you continue to try to ascribe words to me--put words in my mouth--that I've never said. You are a conservative. Yeah, Rah Rah, Huzzah!, beat the drums softly. So? I'm not a conservative. I'm not a progressive. If I feel campaign financing, as it is today, needs to be 'reformed,' than that's my opinion and the 'reform' should be extended to include any single-source contributor no matter what s/he 'backs.' I'd say the same thing about George Soros if I read a headline that said, "George Soros has promised$3M to the DNC to defeat John Boehner and the Republican party in the next election." I haven't read such a headline.

As for religion in politics, I've already said that I wouldn't think of 'ousting' a candidate because of her/his religious affiliation. However, the Founders were Deists--and believed in some sort of 'Higher Power,' that couldn't be defined and had no place in politics. They were also Masons, so our currency exhibits Masonic symbols--the pyramid and the All-Seeing Eye, for example--but I think the Constitution makes it very clear, because it's about the structure of a federal government, that there is a separation that should exist between whatever anyone holds religiously and politics. There is no state religion; there is no religion. The US is supposed to be a secular confederation of secular states.

I was born and raised as a Roman Catholic. I do not deny that, nor do I deny what I learned. I've just tried to remove the Church, as an institution, while studying its basic philosophy, and either accepting or rejected parts of that philosophy. I would never try to convince any one else to live as I live. I also don't want anyone else telling me to live as they live--especially not if anything like that could become a perquisite for living. By that, I mean I don't want to have religion a part of the legal requirements for the things that are required--for marriage, in what hospital I can receive treatment, whether or not I can own a home where I want to, where and how I can be buried--and on and on. Leave Religion (but not religious people) out of politics!

Politics in the US--and maybe in the world--are no longer (is no longer?)--a question of what political party is in ascendance. To me, it's a question of which corporation will achieve control. We've spent a century under the control of the Seven Sisters of the oil corporations, but we may not have realized it. Now, it seems to me, the struggle for control of politics has expanded to include pharmas, agricorps, energy corps, you name it. The consumer market has gone way beyond simple manufacturing of 'real' goods to involve every aspect of our daily lives--and it's global.

We are all responsible for the choices we make. I hope, because I can only hope, that the choices we make are our own rather than a corporation's choice.

You said I shouldn't compare the Koch brothers with George Soros and choose Soros because of his childhood background. I don't; I choose neither. Really!

But I must, because I'm biased think about how the Koch brothers have interests in 'fracking' for natural gas--as well as petroleum refining, chemicals, fertilizers, the overall use of petroleum by-products in such industries, as well as the development of plastics, building pipelines, ranching, stock market commodity trading, etc., etc., etc. George Soros made his billions by gambling in the stock market.

That's about as far as I've gotten in the research I've done, so far. Yes, what I think I've learned is undoubtedly biased.

But I've also read conservative publications on line and have tried to understand that PoV, as well. If you don't believe me, so be it. I'm not going to be around 30yrs. from now, but I hope that some remnant of my life will be and I hope I'll be able to contribute some small part to a future for them that isn't one of dominance by one philosophy if it means repression of their way of living.

To me, that doesn't mean involvement in party politics. It does, however, mean being able to choose what I believe is my best choice for the future.

Enjoy, --Liz
"Be what you would seem to be - or, if you'd like it put more simply - never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."
— Lewis Carroll
lizbethrose
Philosopher

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### Re: Reforming Democracy

gib wrote:If this is indeed what Liz wants, I think it's a bit extreme, but that doesn't mean she wants conservatives or progressives to suffer any more than my restricting those who want to poor chocolate all over cancer patients' heads from getting into the medical profession means that I want them to get cancer. I believe that by restricting them, I'm contributing to helping fight cancer for everyone. I may be wrong--maybe dumping chocolate on their heads does cure cancer--and I may be extreme--maybe barring them from the medical profession is too much--but that says nothing of my desire to help everyone.

I get what you're saying- I think capitalism is good for socialists for example, even if they aren't smart enough to realize it. But that's not the same thing as saying that if I take measures to make sure socialists are banned from public speaking or whatever, I'm doing it for the good of the socialists.

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Uccisore
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### Re: Reforming Democracy

lizbethrose wrote:
Ucci, I've tried to find a correlation between the AFP nationwide, TV commercial (advertisement) and Michael Moore's,

Why? Why are you trying to find a correlation between one specific example of a commercial released by a group you don't like, and Michael Moore's entire body of work? Nobody asked you to, and I don't see how it's pertinent. How about we just say that that one example is a really bad commercial that shouldn't have been made, and that's why you insist on using it as your example in the first place (God knows I didn't pick it), and we move on to the general question of if privately funded T.V. commercials are somehow worse for the political process than privately funded documentaries?

Again- a corporation makes a political commercial saying people should believe A. Michael Moore makes a documentary saying that people should believe not-A. You seem to what to curtail the first, but not the second. Tell me why one is damaging to the political process in a way that the other is not. It doesn't matter if you think they are apples and oranges, you should be able to tell me why one is damaging to the political process and the other is not, in the same way that I can tell you why mosquitos are a public health threat and wool socks are not- even though mosquitos and wool socks are completely different from each other. So answer the question, already.

I'm not a conservative. I'm not a progressive. If I feel campaign financing, as it is today, needs to be 'reformed,' than that's my opinion and the 'reform' should be extended to include any single-source contributor no matter what s/he 'backs.'

THAT part of what you said is -semi-nonpartisan. It's a bad idea, but it's nonpartisan. But you've also criticized corporations making political ads, religion having influence over the political process, and conservative lobbying groups influencing public opinion. I mean sure, we both know that limitations on single source donations will hurt conservatives a little more because they tend to get the wealthy vote, but that's a mild enough bias that I can overlook it; the real problem though is that it's easy to come down against this or that sort of campaign donation when you already know the schools, the journalists and hollywood are going to put out your political message for free no matter what gets donated to whom.

That's the thing I want to make very clear to you, because it has a huge impact on how I interpret what you're saying; you can disagree, but from MY point of view, almost every university, almost every journalist, and almost every hollywood movie is going to advocate for the progressive/DNC agenda without the democrats having to spend a dime on it. That's what I think- not important if you agree, just understand thats the perspective I'm coming from. So when a progressive comes along and says we need to put controls on who can donate to political campaigns, I can't help but think "Oh, well, how convenient that would be FOR YOU." It's like Israel saying to the palestinians "Let's both agree not to use suicide bombers and attacks on civilian population centers". It sounds good, but Israel has tanks and targeted airstrike capability so obviously they make out way better on that deal.

As for religion in politics, I've already said that I wouldn't think of 'ousting' a candidate because of her/his religious affiliation. However, the Founders were Deists--and believed in some sort of 'Higher Power,' that couldn't be defined and had no place in politics.

So you're going to have to explain to me what this means. Suppose I think abortion is immoral because it says so in my holy book, and therefore I donate to candidates that want to outlaw abortion. Should I be stopped? Suppose I am a candidate who thinks abortion is immoral because it says so in my holy book- should I not be allowed to run for office? Should I be allowed to run for office, but only if I publicly condemn abortion for reasons other than the ones I actually believe? Suppose you think abortion is immoral because it says so in your favorite NON holy book. What should you get to do that the religious person doesn't get to do? If the Supreme Court or Congress or whomever discover that the majority of people who think abortion is wrong think it for religious reasons, does that mean ipso facto that abortion should be permitted? If I can convince people that abortion is immoral without mentioning religion at all, but a journalist goes through my trash and discovers that I'm secretly a very religious person, are my arguments thereby invalidated?

What's the substance here, in other words?

By that, I mean I don't want to have religion a part of the legal requirements for the things that are required--for marriage, in what hospital I can receive treatment, whether or not I can own a home where I want to, where and how I can be buried--and on and on.

That sounds like you should be completely happy with the way things are right now. So why bring it up? What is it that you think religion i(not religious people) is doing in politics that it ought not be?

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Uccisore
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### Re: Reforming Democracy

Uccisore wrote:
lizbethrose wrote:
Ucci, I've tried to find a correlation between the AFP nationwide, TV commercial (advertisement) and Michael Moore's,

Why? Why are you trying to find a correlation between one specific example of a commercial released by a group you don't like, and Michael Moore's entire body of work? Nobody asked you to, and I don't see how it's pertinent. How about we just say that that one example is a really bad commercial that shouldn't have been made, and that's why you insist on using it as your example in the first place (God knows I didn't pick it), and we move on to the general question of if privately funded T.V. commercials are somehow worse for the political process than privately funded documentaries?

Again- a corporation makes a political commercial saying people should believe A. Michael Moore makes a documentary saying that people should believe not-A. You seem to what to curtail the first, but not the second. Tell me why one is damaging to the political process in a way that the other is not. It doesn't matter if you think they are apples and oranges, you should be able to tell me why one is damaging to the political process and the other is not, in the same way that I can tell you why mosquitos are a public health threat and wool socks are not- even though mosquitos and wool socks are completely different from each other. So answer the question, already.

You asked, originally, why I would think it wrong for the Koch brothers to produce a commercial but it was okay for Moore to produce films, to answer what I've underlined. And you've kept on asking me to answer your question!

Do you really believe if you say something often enough, I'll start to believe it?

I'm not a conservative. I'm not a progressive. If I feel campaign financing, as it is today, needs to be 'reformed,' than that's my opinion and the 'reform' should be extended to include any single-source contributor no matter what s/he 'backs.'

THAT part of what you said is -semi-nonpartisan. It's a bad idea, but it's nonpartisan. But you've also criticized corporations making political ads, religion having influence over the political process, and conservative lobbying groups influencing public opinion. I mean sure, we both know that limitations on single source donations will hurt conservatives a little more because they tend to get the wealthy vote, but that's a mild enough bias that I can overlook it; the real problem though is that it's easy to come down against this or that sort of campaign donation when you already know the schools, the journalists and hollywood are going to put out your political message for free no matter what gets donated to whom.

That's the thing I want to make very clear to you, because it has a huge impact on how I interpret what you're saying; you can disagree, but from MY point of view, almost every university, almost every journalist, and almost every hollywood movie is going to advocate for the progressive/DNC agenda without the democrats having to spend a dime on it. That's what I think- not important if you agree, just understand thats the perspective I'm coming from. So when a progressive comes along and says we need to put controls on who can donate to political campaigns, I can't help but think "Oh, well, how convenient that would be FOR YOU." It's like Israel saying to the palestinians "Let's both agree not to use suicide bombers and attacks on civilian population centers". It sounds good, but Israel has tanks and targeted airstrike capability so obviously they make out way better on that deal.

Have you talked with a therapist about how you are only able to interpret what someone says as being against what youbelieve?

As for religion in politics, I've already said that I wouldn't think of 'ousting' a candidate because of her/his religious affiliation. However, the Founders were Deists--and believed in some sort of 'Higher Power,' that couldn't be defined and had no place in politics.

So you're going to have to explain to me what this means. Suppose I think abortion is immoral because it says so in my holy book, and therefore I donate to candidates that want to outlaw abortion. Should I be stopped? Suppose I am a candidate who thinks abortion is immoral because it says so in my holy book- should I not be allowed to run for office? Should I be allowed to run for office, but only if I publicly condemn abortion for reasons other than the ones I actually believe? Suppose you think abortion is immoral because it says so in your favorite NON holy book. What should you get to do that the religious person doesn't get to do? If the Supreme Court or Congress or whomever discover that the majority of people who think abortion is wrong think it for religious reasons, does that mean ipso facto that abortion should be permitted? If I can convince people that abortion is immoral without mentioning religion at all, but a journalist goes through my trash and discovers that I'm secretly a very religious person, are my arguments thereby invalidated?

What's the substance here, in other words?

You mean you've been a member of ILP for years and still don't know what Deism means? Or that you never realized that the Founders were Deists and members of the Masonic Order? Or that the US is secular because that's the way the Constitution is written: the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." expressly forbids the establishment of a state religion.

By that, I mean I don't want to have religion a part of the legal requirements for the things that are required--for marriage, in what hospital I can receive treatment, whether or not I can own a home where I want to, where and how I can be buried--and on and on.

That sounds like you should be completely happy with the way things are right now. So why bring it up? What is it that you think religion i(not religious people) is doing in politics that it ought not be?

I never said I wasn't happy with the way things are now with respect to religion and politics. I just hope it stays that way.

I've become bored with your replies to me, ucci. I've gone way beyond feeling frustrated by them. Your attempts at discussion are feeble, at best. I'm done with it.
"Be what you would seem to be - or, if you'd like it put more simply - never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."
— Lewis Carroll
lizbethrose
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### Re: Reforming Democracy

Uccisore wrote:But that's not the same thing as saying that if I take measures to make sure socialists are banned from public speaking or whatever, I'm doing it for the good of the socialists.

That may be true, but you can tell yourself that and believe it. You could tell yourself that eventually they'll come around--after seeing how a capitalist system benefits them too--and then all our rivalries will disolve.

Perhaps I'm belabouring the point, but I want to stress it for deeper reasons than just arbitering between you and Liz. I feel it's important in these debates to remember that at the deepest levels, each side of every faction (or most factions, I guess), we're all still striving to achieve the same ends: happiness for all, liberty for all, equality of respect and opportunity, etc. <-- I realize that some (or all) of these are open to debate and even clear definition, but my point is that I think the majority of people, regardless of what side of this or that debate/faction they're on, would like, and maybe are still trying, to cooperate with each other, to find peace and agreement with each other, an arrangement by which everyone can live happily together. That is to say, there is still, I believe, on some level, in most people, the desire and intent to find some arrangement by which everyone can get along. I feel that I have to stress this because if I don't, I fear that we'll be all the more likely to lose sight of it, and then it will be all the more likely that we won't be striving for a common goal any longer (and then we become like the Jews and the Arabs, or the Catholics and the Protestants, or the blacks and the KKK, etc.).

Uccisore wrote: the real problem though is that it's easy to come down against this or that sort of campaign donation when you already know the schools, the journalists and hollywood are going to put out your political message for free no matter what gets donated to whom.

Hmm... why is that? I mean, why do you think liberal ideologies (is that right?) got into the school system, journalism, and Hollywood? Does it just appeal to the masses more?

As for the religion thing, I think the purpose behind the separation between church and state is to prevent laws from being created which are based exclusively (read: without any regard for what the people want) on religious doctrine. So same sex marriage being illegal because the Bible says it's wrong, or because God says so, and not because that's the way the majority want it. A system in which church and state are separate is a system in which the laws are determine by popular vote.
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gib
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### Re: Reforming Democracy

gib wrote:
Uccisore wrote: the real problem though is that it's easy to come down against this or that sort of campaign donation when you already know the schools, the journalists and hollywood are going to put out your political message for free no matter what gets donated to whom.
Hmm... why is that? I mean, why do you think liberal ideologies (is that right?) got into the school system, journalism, and Hollywood?
I have a response to this bit.

Many studies have shown throughout time particular people are naturally drawn towards specific fields. It holds true for every type of person, black, white, woman, males. Every division, if left to their own devices naturally gravitate towards those fields. Many claims of racism, sexism and other stupid arguments, have been made as a result of these movements, so they are well documented. Is it not hard to believe that something like political philosophy is also motivating in the same ways. The cultures that create a Conservative is going to respect and drive a person towards a field, the same is true for Liberals, or any other aspect. That these fields attract specific groups is going to result in a natural insulation against outside viewpoints... To a point... (Source (Its a couple of paragraphs down))

I stand with, based on this argument and a understanding that Liberals are drawn towards Journalism, that Conservatives interact with Liberal opinions far more than the reverse. People have to seek out Conservative opinion, Liberal opinion is everywhere, so much so most people don't even notice it.

Don't believe me? Take a month, listen to nothing but Conservative radio and read Conservative books (I can provide a very good list). Then "rejoin" the populous, go to a movie. You'll start to see how saturated it is. It's like air, it takes being removed to really notice.

gib wrote:Does it just appeal to the masses more?
As to this, at current, most studies still show the US to be a right leaning country, so the masses in your question accounts for less than 50%. It is closer to 35% (with about 40% being conservative...). I think this is a problem of American Media being the only thing "outsiders" see. It would be a bad idea to assume it represents most of the country.
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Eric_The_Pipe
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### Re: Reforming Democracy

Eric, you are so funny. (Your source is a conservative magazine--chuckle, chuckle)

It should be no surprise to anyone that the US has always been rather more conservative than liberal ever since the first stirrings of revolution against the British Empire back in the mid-18th century. The thing is there are different types of both conservative and liberal ideologies and they both are often intermixed. People can be, and are, conservative in some ways and liberal in others. But the basic ideologies within our culture came to us from an "aristocracy" of landed gentry who brought their social customs and mores with them.

The influx of immigration during the 19th century also brought various, sometimes unfamiliar, cultures to the US, and with the cultures came stereotypes that had been held onto for generations among the people from outside the particular culture. What does it matter?

Not much, any more, although, rightly or wrongly, we still harbor great respect for the wealthy, propertied 'upper classes,' and look down on the poor. The world is far from a class-less society.

So let's try to establish some basics--some agreed to definitions of the various labels--without mentioning political parties.

A liberal is much more a social liberal than is a conservative. A liberal feels it's the government's responsibility to provide for the health and well-being of all citizens through taxation: a conservative feels providing for the health and well-being of citizens should be a private, charitable responsibility wherein the donor chooses to provide the necessary capital.

A liberal sees war as a last resort, only, and feels cuts should come from the Military budget: a conservative wants a strong Military, and wants a 'balanced budget' that doesn't reduce the Military budget at all.

A liberal feels that education should be provided for all and should be subsidized by the government: a conservative feels the government should have no involvement in education.

A liberal feels regulations for the safety and welfare of citizens is part of the government's responsibility to the citizens: a conservative feels regulation isn't needed--that the people should be able to choose for themselves. A liberal feels the consumer market, including the financial industries, should be regulated to try to ensure against dramatic swings in consumer prices (among other things): a conservative feels the market should remain free to adjust itself when adjustment is needed.

A liberal is more likely to welcome change and new ideas: a conservative is much more of a traditionalist.

These are my thoughts and they aren't weighted or ordered in any way.

To introduce a non sequitur--(Eric, this is non; non, have you met Eric?) There is nothing in the Constitution that says anything about the 'separation of Church and State.' Nothing! The exclusionary clause of the 1st Amendment is the only place in the entire document where religion is mentioned. There is nothing in the Constitution that defines marriage. Marriage is never mentioned! The proposed DREAM Children Act is based on an 1897 SCOTUS decision based on the 14th Amendment, the same Amendment the current SCOTUS used to allow personhood to corporations, yet conservatives don't like DREAM children.

Conservative magazines abound. Every business publication is conservative; conservative political journals sit side by side with liberal journals on every well-managed library and/or newsstand. No one needs to "seek out" conservatism-- it's all there in the print media. And it's there in television and radio, as well. I don't know about movies. They're not part of our entertainment budget.

That's it for now, gentlemen. I wish the thread hadn't taken this turn. Liberal vs Conservative is a dead-end discussion, in my opinion.

Enjoy,

Liz --
"Be what you would seem to be - or, if you'd like it put more simply - never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."
— Lewis Carroll
lizbethrose
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